Sunday, July 20, 2014

Takeaways from the latest bloodbath in Gaza

1. Objectively speaking, this is not a "conflict" in any form whatsoever. It is a brutal counterinsurgency operation carried out by Israel's Likud government with the presumed intention of annihilating Hamas politically (whether it actually achieves this is a different story). Like any classic counterinsurgency/colonial war, the conflict pits a fully-equipped army against a ragtag lot of guerillas and civilians.

2. The fiercest battle being raged is not taking place but on the ground in Gaza but in public opinion forums abroad, between supporters of Israel and Palestine Solidarity Activists. (see here and here) It is not a battle between supporters of the fighting parties (Israel and Hamas) so much as between upholders of opposing narratives: Pro-palestine activists portraying the conflict as a wanton massacre by an Occupying power and pro-Israeli zionists, upholding the killing as mere "self-defense" by a besieged state.

3. Ultimately, both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters extend their arguments way back into history: Palestine solidarity activists emphasize the conflict's roots in the 1948 Nakba (and the very realization of the "Zionist Dream") while Jewish activists compare Hamas to previous waves of anti-semitism like Hamas and Hitler.

4. How involved are the Arab states in this conflict? Iran?
This latest round of fighting has been almost entirely focused on the fight between Israel and Palestine, largely to the exclusion of outside powers...
Thus, a new stage of the I-P conflict, has come into being, one centered on the root conflict between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism to the exclusion of power politics. The deep-rooted, manichean tensions at stake make for a very difficult road ahead.

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